Hispanics Make Up About Three-Quarters of U.S. Illegal Immigrants, Study Says - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Hispanics Make Up About Three-Quarters of U.S. Illegal Immigrants, Study Says

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(CNN) -- About three-quarters of the illegal immigrants in the United States are Hispanics, with the majority of their population coming from Mexico, a study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center said.         

The center estimated that in 2008, 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the United States. It concluded that the undocumented immigrant population more than tripled from 1990 to 2006 but has since stabilized. A slumping economy has made the United States less attractive to job seekers.         

While Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas remain popular destinations for illegal immigrants, their numbers are more broadly spread across the country.         

"This is especially true in Georgia, North Carolina and other southeastern states," the report said.         

Of the nation's unauthorized immigrant population, 76 percent are Hispanics, while 59 percent of all illegal immigrants are from Mexico. Eleven percent of unauthorized immigrants come from Asia and less than 2 percent are from the Middle East.         

Undocumented immigrants now make up 4 percent of the nation's population and more than 5 percent of its workforce, based on March 2008 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.         

The children of illegal immigrants make up an even greater share of students in America's primary and secondary schools. Nationwide, the number is nearly 7 percent, but in five states, about 10 percent of the student population are the children of undocumented-immigrant parents.         

Children born in the United States become U.S. citizens regardless of their parents' immigration status.         

The median household income for illegal immigrants in 2007 was $36,000 -- well below the $50,000 for U.S.-born residents.

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